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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rumoured QPR Target Joins Norwich...Irish Youngster Signs For QPR

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Gillingham's Simeon Jackson has joined Norwich - reportedly for a fee of 600,000 pounds. Over the past number of month, numerous reports have linked Simeon Jackson to QPR.

Posted on: Thu 15 Jul 2010

CITY can this evening confirm the signing of Gillingham striker Simeon Jackson. The 23-year-old Canadian international has joined the Canaries for an undisclosed fee on a two-year contract, with the Club having a further one-year option.

Jackson had become one of the most sought-after players outside the top two divisions after topping the goalscoring charts at the Priestfield Stadium for the past two seasons.

Recruited by the Kent club from non-league Rushden & Diamonds, Jackson hit 21 goals in all competitions in 2008-09 as Gillingham won promotion from League Two via the play-offs. Jackson was very much the hero of the Gills' play-off success - he scored both goals in a 2-1 semi-final victory over Rochdale and then proceeded to score the only goal of the game at Wembley as the Gills sealed their elevation to League One at the expense of Grant Holt's Shrewsbury Town.
Despite Gillingham's swift return to League Two, Jackson still notched 16 league goals last season as the club battled to maintain League One status. He also scored his first international goal as Canada triumphed 1-0 away to Cyprus in an international friendly fixture.

Jackson has already flown out to join his new team-mates at their German training camp. Norwich

Gillingham Official Site JACKSON JOINS CANARIES
After weeks of speculation, Gills' Canadian international striker Simeon Jackson has completed his transfer to Championship side Norwich City.

Jackson was absent from all of the club's opening pre-season friendlies, fuelling speculation of an imminent move, with Southampton, Millwall and Peterborough all linked with the player in recent weeks.

Jackson moves to Carrow Road on an initial two-year contract with the Norfolk club retaining the option to extend his deal for a further year.
Article continues

Simeon Jackson through on goal

23 year-old Jackson first joined the Gills as a 15 year-old, after leaving his native Canada to carve out a career in the English game, but failed to settle during a short stay at the club's Centre of Excellence.

He was subsequently picked up by Rushden & Diamonds where he enjoyed scored goals in abundance, costing the Gills £125,000 to secure his return in January 2008.

With Mark Stimson's side battling relegation from League One that year, Jackson struggled to make an initial impact but showed glimpses of the player he would become with a two goal brace against Luton that April, and an impressive strike in the final day 2-1 defeat to Leeds at Elland Road.

With a full pre-season under his belt, Simeon exploded onto the League Two scene in 2008/09, spearheading Gillingham's promotion bid with a prolific return of 21 goals in all competitions.

Highlights for Jacko that season included Gillingham's equaliser in the 1-2 televised FA Cup Third Round defeat to Aston Villa and a brace in the Gills 2-1 play-off semi-final second leg win over Rochdale.

Though, of course, his most important contribution that season was the 90th minute header against Shrewsbury Town, at Wembley, that secured a 1-0 win and promotion for Gillingham, at the first attempt, in the 2008/09 League Two Play-Off Final.

Simeon Jackson

Within days of that Wembley triumph, Jackson made his international debut for Canada, scoring the winner in a 1-0 friendly win over Cyprus in Larnaca and crowned a phenomenal year by being named Canada's Player of the Year 2009.

Back on the domestic scene, Jackson made the step up to League One football with ease in 2009/10, announcing his arrival with an opening day hat-trick in the Gills 5-0 demolition of Swindon Town.

Other notable goals last season saw Jacko slot home a penalty at Priestfield in the 1-1 draw with eventual Champions and new employers Norwich City, while fans will also have fond memories of his last gasp equaliser in the 1-1 home draw with rivals Charlton Athletic.

Despite Gillingham's final day relegation, Jackson's impressive return of 18 goals in all competitions was always likely to put him in the shop window. A great professional and one of the deadliest marksman to grace Priestfield in the last decade, everyone at Gillingham FC would like to wish Simeon every success in his new career at Carrow Road.

Simeon celebrates his opening day hat-trick Gillingham

EDP - Norwich City seal Jackson's signatureDAVID CUFFLEY
Striker Simeon Jackson was today understood to have signed for Norwich City in a £600,000 move from Gillingham.

The 23-year-old Jackson is reported to have flown to Germany to join the Canaries at their pre-season training camp.

The Canadian international has agreed a three-year deal with City after scoring 17 goals last season for the Kent club, who were relegated from League One.

Striker Cody McDonald, who was in the City squad in Germany, looks set to join the Gills on a season-long loan as part of the deal.

The fee for Jackson is reported to be £600,000 rising to £1 million.

Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler said: “Simeon's not here because there has been a development.

“It looks like he's going to go. There will be confirmation by the end of the week I think or maybe before.”

City boss Paul Lambert said at the weekend he was still hoping to add one more signing to his six summer recruits, and added that he hoped to fly the player to Germany if a deal was completed in time.

Jamaican-born Jackson was entering the final year of his current Priestfield deal but Gillingham were determined not to let him leave on the cheap.

City were reported to have had an earlier bid of £500,000 turned down, with Championship rivals Millwall and Queens Park Rangers and League One title favourites Southampton also tracking Jackson, as well as relegated Plymouth and Peterborough.

Before the deal was completed, Hessenthaler said: “We don't want to stand in Simeon's way but he appreciates it's got to be right for both parties - but I'm sure that something will happen sooner or later.

“You need to have two ways of thinking. If he stays then we want to bring someone in with him as we haven't got loads of options. If he goes, then we may need to look to bring two in, it all depends on what type of finance we get.”

Hessenthaler omitted Jackson from Gillingham's first two pre-season friendlies and Lambert hinted at the weekend he had been frustrated in his attempts to bolster his strike force.

“We tried and it has not materialised at the minute and we will see what happens in the next week,” he said, after Saturday's game at Dereham. “It's not gone, we just have to wait and see. We can only do what we can do due to finances - I'll see what we can do.”

Jackson spent four years at Rushden & Diamonds before moving on to Gillingham but his 17 goals last season failed to preserve the Gills' League One status.

McDonald has scored five times in 32 appearances for City since arriving from Dartford in 2009. EADT

Ulster Star/Stavey Heaney - Gareth signs for QPR
LISBURN teenager Gareth Deane has recently moved one step closer of fulfilling his footballing ambitions when he signed a two year Scholarship with Championship side QPR.

Gareth at Loftus Road on the day he signed his scholarship papers.The 16-year-old goalkeeper is currently with the Under 18 squad on their pre-season tour to Germany, where he helped his new side to a 1-0 victory in their opening match of the tour against Queichhambach, in the heart of the Black Forest.

The delighted local lad, who recently completed his GCSE's at Laurelhill Community College said of the move: "The Club is amazing and the staff and coaches are all fantastic and have made me feel really at home after just three weeks. The opportunity to train with Paddy Kenny and Radek Cerny is unbelievable."

The former Laurelhill pupil with his Under 16 Northern Ireland cap.The former Linfield Goalkeeper has been making a name for himself in the footballing world prior to his move to the Loftus Road club, having recently been presented with his Under 16 cap at the NISFA Presentation of Awards Dinner at Tullyglass House Hotel.

Gareth has also played several times for the NI Under 17 team in the UEFA European U17 championship tournament in Andorra, qualifying for the Elite Round tournament which was held in Northern Ireland earlier this year. Gareth said that the highlight of his year was playing against Belgium and Poland at home and winning both games 1-0. The team narrowly missed out on a place in the European Under-17 finals but the local lad said that the experience was something he will definitely never forget.

Gareth has completed three years in the County Antrim Excellence Programme and was named in the County Antrim Milk Cup squad in 2008 and 2009. He has also enjoyed school success as runner up in the NI Primary Schools Cup with Ballymacash Primary School and winning the Northern Ireland Senior Schools' Cup with Laurelhill earlier this year, when he helped the school to win coveted schools' football competition for the first time in their history when he produced some heroic saves in the penalty shoot out to help his side clinch the title.

The Lisburn teen received praise from QPR's Under 18 Coach Steve Gallen following his first pre-season match in Germany. Gallen said, "At the back we were strong and won all our battles, Gareth in goal was brave and took some good crosses when he was under pressure from some big lads."

Gareth is now looking forward to the new season with the London-based club. Lisburn Today

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